Case Management

Interstate transfers create financial, logistical challenges

Case Management Monthly, March 1, 2010

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One of the biggest challenges of executing an interstate transfer is the cost.

“Nine times out of 10, Medicaid of another state is not going to pay the transport cost to get the patient back,” says Matt Boettcher, LCSW.

Fighting Medicaid on this issue will ultimately cost the facility, Boettcher says. While the transferring facility argues with the Medicaid office, the unfunded patient remains in the hospital, likely costing the facility the same amount it would have cost to transfer the patient. The patient is also taking a bed away from a needy, funded patient.

Facilities that handle a significant number of interstate transfers can try to limit the cost by establishing relationships with multiple air ambulance companies. If multiple companies value the business, a facility can compare prices es and typically negotiate a lower rate, Boettcher says.

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